The LA Fashion District is broken down into various subsections (you can see the breakdown of the district here), the most popular of these being The Santee Alley. Often referred to as “a bargain hunter’s paradise”, The Santee Alley is an actual alley lined with over 150 stores selling apparel and accessories for the entire family, electronics and electronic accessories, handbags and luggage, and more. It is located in the heart of the Fashion District and the majority of the district’s retail vendors are centered around it.
Discounts in the alley range from 30% to 70% off full retail prices. Some vendors also carry brand name clothing and shoes, including athletic wear such as Nike, Converse, Puma, Jordans, etc. Alley vendors are often wholesale vendors, closeout buyers, manufacturers and/or importers who are able to sell their merchandise at much lower prices by selling directly to the public.
In fact the alley, or “Los Callejones” as it’s referred to by our Spanish-speaking visitors, is deeply rooted in the wholesale businesses. Though it is now primarily focused on retail, the area where the Santee Alley is located used to be the center of the Los Angeles fashion wholesale industry. The wholesale vendors would bring out their overstock items on the weekends and sell them to the public through their backdoor. The weekend sales became so popular, the alley became a full time retail destination open 7 days a week, 365 days a year including holidays!
Over the years, The Santee Alley has become a mecca for fast fashion, carrying the latest trends at the most affordable prices, often before they even hit stores. Santee Alley vendors get their inventory from the same manufacturers as large department stores, online vendors, and retail chains. Often times you can find the same items you would at the mall but with a different label and at a much lower price.
The alley is truly a unique experience, where the fashion industry and cultures from around the world collide to form one big festival-like atmosphere. We highly recommend it to those who love bargain shopping or those who just like exploring in general. Make sure to follow these shopping tips and wear comfy shoes!